According to Bob Allen of Baptist News Global:
Southern Baptist seminary president said Nov. 29 that Baptists who adopt Calvinistic theology and practice ought to consider joining another denomination.
“I know there are a fair number of you who think you are a Calvinist, but understand there is a denomination which represents that view,” Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said at the close of Tuesday’s chapel service. “It’s called Presbyterian.”
“I have great respect for them,” Patterson said. “Many of them, the vast majority of them, are brothers in Christ, and I honor their position, but if I held that position I would become a Presbyterian. I would not remain a Baptist, because the Baptist position from the time of the Anabaptists, really from the time of the New Testament, is very different.”
Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen examines the teaching of Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback megachurch which is one of the largest churches in the U.S. He quotes Tim Challies as saying the following about the man who has been dubbed the “Purpose Driven Pope”:
One need only read Warren’s books or listen to a few of his messages to realize how often he explains and applies passages incorrectly. I assume this is because he has not taken the time to first humble himself before the Scripture and determine what the passages really mean. So do not be confused and presume that Warren is an expository preacher.
Ahlheim also includes something highly influential pastor Charles Spurgeon once said:
Whatever is to be revealed by the Spirit to any of us is in the Word of God already. He adds nothing to the Bible and never will.
Now listen as Bud Ahlheim shreads Warren’s post “The Four Ways God Speaks To You.” He writes:
When the apostle Paul was writing his final letter to Timothy, he failed to include a number of things that are so frequently hurled about the Christian church today as utterly important, especially when it comes to hearing from God.
For example, the apostle did not instruct his young protégé on the importance of listening for God’s “still small voice” for personal and ministerial guidance. He didn’t remind Timothy about the importance of astutely discerning between God-sent, spiritual “impressions” for direction as opposed to those which might be of a distinctly more carnal nature. The apostle of our Lord also forgot to advise the young minister about the importance of circumstances God may orchestrate in order to provide spiritual guardrails to guide him down the correct, providential path.
The Christian Institute reports:
Parents are up in arms after being told their children will have to use gender-neutral toilets in a new school building.
A new building at Buxton School in Leytonstone, East London, has been fitted with the toilets, for use by children aged eight and above.
Headteacher Kath Wheeler says the facilities will create ‘safe spaces’ for pupils.
There has been an outcry amongst parents, who fear the toilets will lead to children being sexualised at a young age.
Mother Shaila Hussain said: “This will initiate more sexualised behaviour. It would be better to keep it separated as it’s safer.”
Another parent said: “Why would you want girls and boys in the same bathroom? Privacy seems to be out of the window nowadays.
Amy Spreeman of Berean Research warns: “If you’re looking for the God of the Bible in this book, or thinking that this is a great film to give your kids a ‘whole new perspective on God’ (we hear that one a lot), then I’m going to speak up and say that there are some things you ought to know about how and where this story veers off track into dangerous waters.” She writes:
Let’s cut right to the chase: Are there heresies in The Shack? Yes. Scroll down. There are more than a dozen of them. Movies about God always make big bucks at the box office, and the film adaptation of The Shack will more than likely be a top ticket seller when it hits the big screen. Now the official trailer is out, and the emotional impact in just this two minute clip already seals the deal that this film will be a blockbuster.
The film hits Theaters March 3, 2017.
I can already imagine The Shack Bible studies, sermon series and of course the social media hype, not to mention busloads of small groups fellowshipping and praising “Papa” for another opportunity to share Jesus. But which Jesus? We know that the Jesus of the Bible is very different than the one author William P. Young wrote about in his mega-bestseller.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,
“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
WE were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39 (NASB)
As I shared on Facebook, I had lunch with my wife, my daughter and my youngest grandson at a local restaurant this morning. Everything was normal. However, as we prepared to leave, I took that last bite of my burger and reached for my glass of iced tea when something unexpected happened. My reflux kicked in and I found myself unable to breathe. My wife and daughter got me up out of the booth, I guess because I don’t remember doing it myself, and they asked for help. I don’t remember much. The next thing I know I felt some very strong arms grab me from behind and do that classic Heimlich Maneuver on me. I had never experienced it before. In any case, with just two very sharp thrusts I was breathing again. There were two men who helped us. I gave them both a very big hug and my wife bought their lunch. I am so grateful and I thank God for men like that. I really do not know how much longer I would have had if they hadn’t been there.
Grace to You bloggers Cameron Buettel and Jeremiah Johnson tackle the music of Hillsong. What they say is not a “fundamentalist rant.” And it’s not “a screed against modern music infiltrating the church.” They’re simply urging the brethren to be “wary when our ancient and exclusive faith is overrun with modern songs featuring a fluid and indistinct message. In many instances, Hillsong lyrics are so vague they could be embraced by most religions.”
Buettel and Johnson begin with lyrics from “Only Wanna Sing”:
This is no performance
Lord, I pray it’s worship
Empty words I can’t afford
I’m not chasing feelings
That’s not why I’m singing
You’re the reason for my song
And I only wanna sing
If I sing with everything
If I sing for you, my King
I can’t imagine why
I would do this all for hype
Cause it’s all to lift You high
At this point in the song—titled “Only Wanna Sing”—the music soars, the strobe lights fire up, and everyone on stage and in the crowd begins to dance with reckless abandon.
Baptist Press reports:
Pope Francis’ newly extended permission for all priests to forgive the sin of abortion demonstrates sharp disagreement between Roman Catholicism and evangelical Christianity over God’s forgiveness, Southern Baptist theologians say.
In an apostolic letter issued Nov. 21, Pope Francis said he was granting “all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion.” In so doing, the pope expanded indefinitely an authorization he had given priests worldwide during the just-concluded Jubilee of Mercy.
See our Research Paper on Roman Catholicism
The Daily Signal has the MUST WATCH video:
College students in the nation’s capital thought it was a “tough question” whether former Cuban President Fidel Castro or American President-elect Donald Trump is more favorable.
Campus Reform, a project of the Leadership Institute, polled several students at American University in Washington, D.C., and captured the students’ responses in the video below.
According to Christian News Network:
A self-described evangelist, author and poet who rose to celebrity status for his hip-hop-styled poetic messages, model-like photographs and numerous selfies has had his ministerial credentials revoked after confessing to sexual indiscretions. The admission occurred as a number of women have recently come forward citing that both promises of marriage and spiritual abuse played a role in them being lured into sexual sin.
Clayton Jennings, who had been in the midst of promoting Tim Tebow’s new book “Shaken,” released a poetic confession online on Nov. 13, which as of press time has obtained over 190,000 views.
“I never claimed to be perfect and I never said I was sinless. Presenting you with a fake facade of greatness is never why I got in this,” he says in the video. “I want you to know this: I’ve sinned—a lot.”
“I could tell you stories of my past sin, but I wouldn’t know when to stop. I had sex before marriage and I broke a lot of hearts. And that’s not even the worst part. Sometimes it was during seasons of ministry,” Jennings admits. “I led some girls on, and there were text messages of sex and sin.”
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. Romans 8:28-30 (NASB)
The unregenerate cannot conceive of a religion unless it is fully entwined with the exercise of free will as an expression of devotion or belief. Genuine Christianity is not a religion if that is how religion is defined. Authentic Christianity consists of God’s work in the hearts of those whom He gave and drew to Christ. The Holy Spirit regenerated them at the will of the Father as they heard the gospel thereby enabling them to believe and repent. From that time forward they serve their Saviour and God as His disciples. Their divine faith, a gift from God, overcomes the world as they obey Him, love Him, and love their brethren. They share their faith with others thereby being obedient disciples whom God uses to bring others into the Kingdom.
Now that Perry Noble is fresh out of alcohol rehab, the Lord has something new and exciting in store for him. It won’t be pastoring a church because, according to 1 Tim 3:1-7, he is no longer qualified. So, what has God supposedly “shown him” regarding his future? Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen has the details:
Disgraced former pastor of Newspring Church in Anderson, SC, says God is calling him back to the ministry–except this time, he’s in it for the business. After losing his job last year as senior pastor of the seeker-friendly megachurch for years of alcohol-related transgressions, he vowed to return to ministry after a 30-day rehab program and turning himself over to a therapist. He has kept his promise and is now offering what he calls a “consultation ministry,” dubbed The Growth Co., in which he will be offering to come alongside businesses and churches to help them grow.
“I am ready to take the next step in life and ministry…” the repeat alcoholic offender says,
After much thought, prayer and seeking godly and wise counsel I believe The Lord has clearly shown me I am supposed to step into church and business consulting.
29 It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses’ hand as he was coming down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him. 30 So when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 Then Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers in the congregation returned to him; and Moses spoke to them. 32 Afterward all the sons of Israel came near, and he commanded them to do everything that the Lord had spoken to him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. 34 But whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, he would take off the veil until he came out; and whenever he came out and spoke to the sons of Israel what he had been commanded, 35 the sons of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone. So Moses would replace the veil over his face until he went in to speak with Him. Exodus 34:29-35 (NASB)
What is hypocrisy? Most dictionaries define it this way, “The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.” In the New Testament, one of best known examples of the Greek word translated as “hypocrites” is found in our Lord Jesus’ quotation of Isaiah 29:13 in Matthew 15:7-9, “ὑποκριταί, καλῶς ἐπροφήτευσεν περὶ ὑμῶν Ἠσαΐας λέγων· ὁ λαὸς οὗτος τοῖς χείλεσίν με τιμᾷ, ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν πόρρω ἀπέχει ἀπ᾽ ἐμοῦ· μάτην δὲ σέβονταί με διδάσκοντες διδασκαλίας ἐντάλματα ἀνθρώπων.” Or, “Hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you saying, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me and in vain do they worship me teaching as commandments the teachings of men.” Remember, this was our Lord talking here.
According to William “Bill” Harrell, “Every institution or group was founded to meet a certain need and, for the useful life of that institution or organization, it focused on its purpose. If and when that purpose was no longer a valid reason for its existence, it would cease to exist.” Harrell believes that “We have just such a situation in the Southern Baptist Convention today.” Baptist News Global has the story:
A former Southern Baptist Convention leader who made the motion to sever ties with the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty at the SBC annual meeting in 1990 now says it might be time for Southern Baptists to “call it a day” for the convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
William “Bill” Harrell, chairman of the SBC Executive Committee subcommittee that recommended separating from the pan-Baptist religious liberty coalition and expanding work of the renamed Christian Life Commission by opening an office in Washington, said recent election results point to an ERLC out of touch with its constituency.
Harrell, retired pastor of Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez, Ga., said in a Nov. 17 blog linked by the Louisiana Baptist Message website that leaders of the agency entrusted with lobbying on behalf of issues important to Southern Baptists “must have egg all over their faces” after months of speaking out against President-elect Donald Trump.
Derryck Green of Juicy Ecumenicism makes it clear that, when determining what is right and wrong, good and evil from a biblical perspective, those who call themselves “progressive Christians” (liberals) are in no position to take the moral high ground. Green lays into those who pose as evangelicals but whose main goal is the redefinition of traditional Christianity, people such as popular author, blogger and speaker Rachel Held Evans and Jim Wallis of Sojourners, a far-left organization. Green closes his piece with this challenge for wolves in sheep’s clothing: “If progressive Christians are really concerned about the future of their faith, they may want to consider what faith is really of concern – Leftism or Christianity.”
Now listen to what Derryck Green has to say about the snare of liberal “Christianity”:
A week after the election, the Huffington Post published a blog entry in which Progressive Christians suggested what like-minded Christians should do in order to “take back their faith.”
Still reeling from the election in which Donald Trump was elected president, several progressive Christians pondered the necessary steps to draw a stronger contrast between their brand of kindhearted progressive Christianity, and the kind of conservative, evangelical Christianity that helped elect Donald Trump.
Ana Quintana is a policy analyst for Latin America and the Western Hemisphere in The Heritage Foundation. Ana is a first-generation Cuban American who knows this story “all too well.” Her piece is posted over at The Daily Signal. She writes:
Late Friday evening, Cuban state media reported the death of their former leader, Fidel Castro, at age 90. Some will mourn his passing or even glorify his life. But for many others, not even his death will fill the void caused by his life.
For over five decades, Cubans suffered under the tyranny of Fidel and then his brother Raul, now 85. They watched the regime destroy a country and export the same perverted model of social justice throughout the developing world.
My grandfather would often tell us of how he would hide indoors while Fidel’s firing squads would slaughter innocent people nearby.
Religion was criminalized, dissent was violently punished, and Cuban citizens became property of their communist state. Fidel’s rule brought the world to its closest point of nuclear war during those fateful 13 days in 1962. He indoctrinated hate and pushed millions out of their country.
The Christian Institute reports:
Expectant mothers may soon be able to view their unborn baby in virtual reality (VR), after the announcement of ground-breaking new scanning technology.
Scientists in Brazil have merged ultrasound images with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to build a 3D model of a baby in the womb, which can be brought to life by using a virtual reality headset.
Research has found that over half of “abortion-minded” women end up keeping their babies after seeing a scan.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6 (NASB)
A few years ago I listened to an attack on “Reformation Theology” in which the preacher based his entire case upon one single charge. He said that a Monergistic interpretation of the Bible is based upon a faulty presupposition. That presupposition is in two parts. The first part is that we say man is dead in trespasses and sins and incapable of obeying all commands to come to God in his own ability. The second part is that we say God takes the initiative and regenerates those whom he has elected before the foundation of the world enabling them to repent and believe and come to Christ and be justified by faith. This fellow totally ignored the fact that this theology is based upon God’s free choice before the foundation of the world and the redemptive work of Christ in the obedient life and keeping the Law and going to the cross to the become the propitiation for those elect. That’s right, he totally ignored what was actually accomplished at the cross. Instead, his interpretation of all those “difficult” passages like John 6:44 are best to be seen as God’s people being those who come to him in repentance and then he saves them. So, totally ignoring all these passages about election and imputation, he says salvation is a totally Synergistic system which man kick starts by coming to God in repentance first and then God takes over from there. He gave examples of genuine converts he had seen who came in brokenness and he could tell they were saved because they grasped the truth and walked in repentance, et cetera. He contrasted that with false converts who were simply religious who never walked in repentance. Right, could it be that he was confusing the order of things? Could it be that those he was seeing coming in repentance have been regenerated by God first and now are able to believe because they are the elect of God?
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled “The Peace Of God,” delivered January 6, 1878.
How grateful we ought to be that we can meet together to worship God after that form which best satisfies our consciences without any fear of being hunted down by the authorities of the land…. We put none at the front door of our conventicle to watch lest the constable should come to take off worshipper and minister, that they may suffer imprisonment or fine. We worship God in unlimited liberty, and we ought to be exceedingly glad of the privilege, and infinitely more grateful for it than we are. Do we not sit every man under his own vine and fig tree, none making us afraid? Blessed is the land in which we dwell, and blessed are the days in which we live, when in all peace and quietness we worship God in public and sing his high praises as loudly as we please. Great God of peace, thou hast given us this peace, and in remembrance of our hunted forefathers we bless thee with our whole hearts!